Oscar Pareja opted for a 4-4-2 in this match with Fabian Castillo operating up top with Blas Perez instead of the normal 4-2-3-1 we have seen throughout most of the year. Michel sits back at Left Back and Benitez is out wide in the Left Midfield role.
You could, as Pareja stated in the post-match comments, see Chivas' gameplan from the first minute. They looked to sit back and bunker and find gaps on the counter and on set pieces.
Again FCD held the majority of the possession but couldn't create any real chances to get through to the Chivas goal.
The best chance in the first 30 minutes came in the 29th minute when Mauro Rosales hit a dangerous free kick into the box where Bocanegra could have put it in the back of the net if Stephen Keel did not get a head on the ball to push it wide.
Michel hit a long ball into Je-Vaughn Watson who headed the ball on frame only for it to fall straight into Dan Kennedy's feet for an easy save.
Michel had another strong cross in the 33rd minute off a corner kick that found Matt Hedges wide open at the front post but Hedges could not beat Dan Kennedy who made a solid save after being wrong-footed.
Quick Halftime Recap:
It has been all Dallas thus far possession wise, but it has not been possession with a purpose. FCD can't seem to break down the very organized Chivas defense due to the leadership of Dan Kennedy and Carlos Bocanegra (something that Dallas is missing badly.)
Chivas USA came out of their shell a bit around the 55th minute to push for a goal and it paid off in the 60th minute.
Mauro Rosales received a ball that floated over Michel and calmly slotted it into Marco Delgado who easily tapped it into the back of the net to make it 1-0 while Matt Hedges lost his mark completely.
In the 71st minute Raul Fernandez makes his first (and only) save of the night off a shot from Martin Rivero and it was a good save at that. Rivero was at the top of the 18 and hit it low to Fernandez's right but he got down well to push it past the post.
FC Dallas upped their urgency after Chivas put themselves in front and it paid off in the 83rd minute when Benitez swings a ball into the box and Matt Hedges dummied it as it traveled straight into Fabian Castillo who put a toe on it scoring an identical goal to Delgado's earlier in the match.
FCD put the ball into the back of the net when Benitez chipped a free kick into the box and Keel nodded it to Watson who tapped it into the back of the net for what is surely the winner! ...but the ref flags for offside on Keel (and rightly so) so the match stays level at 1-1.
Quick Match Recap:
FC Dallas just never seemed too dangerous on the attack even though they dominated the possession for large portions of the match. Chivas' gameplan was executed to near perfection while FCD's was not executed very well at all. That's really what it comes down to and that's why Chivas left Texas with 1 point when they should have left with 0.
Notes on the Match:
I don't know if it's just me, but Moffat has seemed poor. The guy sitting in front of me at the stadium kept talking about how good "#6 for Dallas" is, but he didn't even know his name and I didn't see anything to think the same way. For me, he constantly makes bad passes (short ones that he, somehow, hits off target) and doesn't get forward well at all. That "Moffat Rocket" is non-existent.
Michel tried to get forward all game (especially early) but FCD as a team failed to get him the ball. He made several runs up field and was wide-open but no one even looked his way and he showed his frustration. If we are going to win at this point in the season Michel must see more of the ball.
Throughout the match I let the people around me hear my frustrations with Castillo, but it was obvious he was making better decisions for the most part. He made a few passes where he usually would have kept dribbling and lost possession and I think the goal was deserved. Hopefully his form continues and he gets back to how he was in the early-season/pre-season.
Benitez doesn't complete a large percentage of his passes, but he is always sending dangerous balls in. He rarely makes 3 short passes in a row; he always looks long to find the killer pass. I think this is good that we have players looking for goals, but he makes some silly ones as well.
Ulloa again was solid in his spot, definitely deserving of the minutes he has gotten thus far. Wish we saw Danny Garcia as I think all we were missing was the creative player in the middle.
Perez works hard, but he just can't find the goal anymore. All strikers see droughts in their career, hopefully his ends soon.
We NEED George John and his leadership in the back now. It's frustrating to see bad defensive lapses week in and week out without anything changing.
Questions This Match Created:
Fernandez is 0-1-3, is it time for Seitz to jump back in goal?
4-4-2 or 4-2-3-1?
What do you think this team is missing; why aren't they getting the win anymore?